Collective Bargaining

A few years ago I started piecing together short segments combining archival audio and my own recordings. The practice was originally, just that: practice. A way to cultivate my own mixing skills and play. I produced some terrible things (really.. unlistenable), some decent things, and some very successful pieces. Now, I’ve decided to start uploading these montages to a special soundcloud account: Collective Bargaining


For an introduction listen to About Practice, which is a descriptive collage about collecting and constructing.



Migraines & Tsunamis

This is a non-narrative (but highly descriptive) segment about the prelude to suffering. It’s a play on expecting pain, on remembering pain and on the scales of suffering. Going through the warning signs of a tsunami and the nervous anticipation of an impending migraine. Part audio diary, part collage and part soundscape.



Before a tsunami hits the shoreline retreats and the sea folds back revealing the ocean floor. In 2004 Mahad X stood outside of a mosque in Xaafuun Somalia and watched the drawback three times. He watched as each of these retreats push the shoreline further and further back. First half a meter…. four meters….. and finally six meters.

476 BC: a Persian army marched onto an uncovered seabed, believing the ocean had unfurled to allow access to the besieged city of Potidaea. They never made it.
365 AD: one historian described “the sea [being] driven away, its waves were rolled back and it disappeared so that the abyss of the depths were uncovered.” He goes on to write about the fishermen who hopped from their boats to collect the drying fish and oysters caught in the mud.

Youtube videos shot on cellphone cameras show tourists marveling at the drawback near Phuket, Thailand during the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami of 2004. They walk out into the absent surf, unaware of what’s to come. These tourists are witnessing ripples from the same event Mahad watched from the mosque in Xaafuun well over three thousand miles away.

The largest recorded Tsunami occurred in 1958, striking three fishing boats in Lituya Bay, Alaska. Before the wave, a nearby lake dropped 100, feet water escaping from fissures opened by an earthquake.


Pain is deeply personal. From Communicating the experience of Pain by G.D. Schott: “… Attempts to truly describe pain indeed appear as difficult as they are frustrating, yet the need to communicate is overwhelming.” Oliver Sacks once described his patients as “full of metaphors” conjuring hurricanes, klein bottles, and presenting grand images in place of externally perceivable symptoms.

In the heat of my own migraines I cling to imagery. Jumping from association to association, turning an unseen experience into an imagined body horror rich in visceral, carnivalesque narratives. To me, this descriptive exercise can represent, can distract from and can sometimes supersede the pain itself. In these moments I see fissures opening at the nape of my neck, bones pushing through my skin, dried spaghetti breaking against the inside of my skull…  But before the migraine begins, before the imagined violence, I confront the possibility of a migraine through a series of subtle hints.

It’s different for everyone, but for me it’s a series of retreats. My mouth dries, my interests fade, my mental state drifts away. The dryness acts like a kind of drawback before a tsunami.  These are the prodromal symptoms, the natural warning sign for what’s to come.



This segment also includes original interviews and recordings, construction + archival/found audio. Find a Youtube playlist containing many of the sampled videos and some of those that didn’t make it into the segment. 

The World: A Playlist

Some border-less listening options.

  • Radio Aporee  – A map of the world through field recordings, sound-art and boundary-less collaborations. Radio Aporee is many things so for an introduction start with the map.
  • Radio Atlas  – English subtitled podcasts and audio stories from langues around the world (but mostly Europe).
  • Studio Puckey’s Radio.Garden for listening to radio stations around the world

Inauguration: A Playlist

My mom is taking a bus from Florida to D.C. to participate in the Million Women’s March on Saturday. She asked for a few podcast recommendations for her trip so I put together a list of shows to accompany her. Per her request this list stays away from the overly cynical, or negative voices that I might normally gravitate towards and it isn’t all about politics.

Sharing here for anyone else who might need some listening material.

  1. The World Next Week: January 19th : For a bit of current affairs, this week’s episode of CFR’s The World Next Week. Find out what else is happening in the world. While we’re at it, might as well listen to every episode of The President’s Inbox.
  2. Global Beats/The Black Experience from WBAI : The MLK day episode Friday January 13, 2016 music and commentary built around Martin Luther King Jr’s speeches Where Do We Go From Here and I Have Been to the Mountain Top.
  3. BBC World Service Doc on Tupac Shakur : In honor of great orators
  4. from On The Media – Looking Back on a Trump Presidency : Prediction or fiction from Jon Lovett’s Atlantic article circa August 2015.
  5.  Stuff You Should Know Will we soon be extinct : A light finale with Chuck and Josh..

Night Thoughts: A Playlist

This is a playlist for insomnia.

A controlled fall through Night Thoughts- from obsessing over a copy machine to grandiose reflections on history and the universe. It is all the strangeness of drifting in and out of sleep.


Night Thoughts


    1. Let’s begin literally with Shaman Shad’s Breathing to Sleep (9:17) …
    2. Move from the daily distractions of copy machines and making tea to lofty thoughts of space and perspective with Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten (9:00 / video)…
    3. From the wide view of the solar system to a dreamy collage of culture, history and magic carpets with The Magic Carpet Flight Manual by Cathy FitzGerald…
    4. Almost fully awake we come to the substantial yet dreamlike (or, perhaps nightmarish) portrait of modern Afghanistan in Adam Curtis’ documentary Bitter Lake (137:00 / film)…
    5. Slip gradually back towards absurdity with politics, dictators, killing and flower arrangements in Joe Frank’s No More Lord (5:42)…
    6. Abandon the words, the history and the stories with this two track musical interlude (5:20 / music)…
    7. And finally, let it all go and actually fall asleep Listening to Wikipedia edits in real time.

    Gif from Bitter Lake

    Work: A Playlist

    Russia01Since I haven’t published any new sounds in awhile, I thought I’d put together some recommended listening. The theme: Work.
    Inspired by months of day jobs, job searching, resumes, interviews and the gradual but increasingly apparent deflation of hope.

    1. Let’s start with this scene from Slacker (2:01)
    2. Then Natalie Kestecher and Steven Tilly on Radiotonic talk Robot Managers (6:29)
    3. Future Tense’s episode on The Contingent Workforce (29:21)
    4. Class- What is it? (30:33) from Pod Academy …
    5. We all go a little mad sometimes with Davis at the Office (8:13) by Lila Cherneff (part of the episode Crack Up on Unfictional) …
    6. And I leave you with a Japanese Children’s karaoke of I’ve been Working on the Railroad.



    Now on Pod Academy: The global Domain Name System in China

    China DNSNew interview for Pod Academy is up! Listen to Cyber sovereignty: The global Domain Name System in China

    This episode is based on the article Internet Domain Names in China: Articulating Local Control with Global Connectivity by Séverine Arsène and can be found in the 2015 issue of China Perspectives- Shaping the Chinese Internet

    More information, resources, etc all at Pod Academy.

    As always, cover art by Tiana Tucker (who makes everything I do look so much better)


    Field Recording

    Burning LeavesI have a hard drive full of sounds (long, short, exciting, excruciatingly dull..) and it’s time to let them go. So I’m finally uploading my field recordings to All unedited work will go into the public domain.

    So far you can find the sounds of burning leaves and yard work and the crowds and birds at a garden sale (also embedded).


    Hertzoggies and Political Food

    We posted our second episode of Political Food and the first (hopefully of many) that has me feeling excited to be working on this project. We interviewed historian Sarah Emily Duff about the South African treat Hertzoggies. It’s a fun episode and very informative. Find more about it at

    I’m going to one cooking event and one political event this week so expect more episodes from the field. In the next episode we’re back to the basics with just a general history overview and cooking instruction.